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The Maidan Uprising, Separatism and Foreign Intervention

Ukraine’s complex transition

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Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko

The current crisis in Ukraine has revealed a striking lack of background knowledge about Ukraine’s history and politics among West European politicians, journalists, intellectuals and even many academics. In this book, experts from Poland, Ukraine, the US, Russia and Western Europe fill the gap between an omnipresent and easily available narrative about Russia and a scarce, scattered knowledge about Ukraine. They show what history and political science can offer for a better understanding of the crisis and provide insights, which are based on reliable Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Turkish sources and confidential interviews with key actors and advisors. Rather than offering easy answers, the authors present facts and knowledge, which enables the reader to make up his own informed opinion.
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Oligarchy, Tyranny and Revolutions in Ukraine 1991–2014

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It was an oligarchy that ruled ancient Greece; merchant families, being the oligarchy of the day, determined the destinies of the Republic of Venice and an oligarchy of magnates determined the destinies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Even though it was not invented on the banks of the Dnieper River, oligarchic rule has become the most characteristic feature of present-day Ukraine’s political system. As long as there have been politics, oligarchy came in different shapes, although the shapes have always been similar. Conducting a formal analysis of the political or party system at different stages of their development and interpretation of the election results are not enough to understand the political processes in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Such an approach would not only be “superficial”, but also confusing. Only the superimposition of an interpretation grid and data related to the development of the oligarchic system (i.e. information relating to individual financial relations of politicians and co-dependencies between the business world and the world of politics) onto the data can allow a better understanding of the trends of development of Ukraine. The same applies to the relations between the development of the oligarchic system and revolutions that have become milestones of modern Ukrainian history. What I mean is the Orange Revolution in 2004/2005 and Euromaidan in 2013/2014, but also, although to a lesser extent, the student protests in 1990 (“Revolution on Granite”).1 The first two were closely connected to the formation and development of the...

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